Love and relationships poetry ~ summaries


When we two parted

-Narrator recalls the day he and his lover parted
-she lost affection
-he thinks the sadness from then foreshadowed what he feels now
-hearing her name affects the narrator
-he is hurt by her affairs with other men
-he thinks he’ll always feel hurt
-if he met her now he’d act the same as when they parted

1 of 15

Love’s philosphy

-narrator addresses a woman trying to persuade her to be with him
-he gives examples to show how everything is connected in an intimate way, even nature is
-he believes God’s law says they should be together
-he asks her why she’s ignoring God’s Law
-he questions what use are all the bonds in nature if he can’t be with her

2 of 15

Porphyria’s lover

-man sits in cold cottage on a stormy night
-Porphyria is his lover and arrives, warming up the place then sits next to him
-he ignores her flirting
-he seems upset with her
-he decides she loves him and belongs to him, so preserves the moment
-he strangles her with her hair
-he opens her eyes and spends the night with her dead body

3 of 15

Sonnet 29

-narrator tells her lover how much she thinks of him when they’re separated
-she’s worried her thoughts will obscure reality of what he’s really like
-though assures his reality is better than her thoughts
-she wants him to be a strong presence in her life and be with him not just think of him

4 of 15

Neutral tones

Remembers day when he and his lover stood by a pond

Unpleasant memory

Clear that the relationship was coming to an end

Describes his lovers behaviour

He believes she found him boring and fell out of love

Whenever he’s hurt by love since he remembers that day

5 of 15

Letters from yorkshire

Man works in garden

He sees first lapwings of the season and writes to the narrator about it

Narrator reflects on their different lives

Man lives in Yorkshire-most of the time outside
She lives ages away from him in a city-most of time inside on computer writing

She wonders if his life is better as he’s close to nature

Although they’re different she feels his letters help her feel connected

6 of 15

The Farmer’s bride

-Farmer has been married for three years
-she’s scared of him and other men
-he says how the relationship went wrong
He never questions if he’s the reason for his wife’s fear
-he finds her rejection unbearable
-he desires his wife and by the end may be struggling to resist taking her by force

7 of 15

Walking away

-father remembers watching his son play his first game of football

Father feels worried as his son uncertainly walks away

The memory affects him 18years later though by the end he understands its a natural process

Every child must have the difficult experience of independence and every parent must let go

8 of 15

Éden rock

Narrator imagines his parents are both young again

Both on the bank of a stream

Mother preparing a picnic

Narrator on opposite side of bank to him and they beckon him to join them
~scene based on real memory or just an imagined scene of time before he was born

~his parents have both died and are beckoning him to join them in afterlife

9 of 15


Narrator describes his fathers expert ploughing

Greatly admired his fathers skill as a boy and followed him around the farm=sometimes stumbling and falling

Wanted to be like his dad when he grows up but all he did was follow and be a nuisance

Now they’re older, roles have reversed and now the father ‘follows’ his son

10 of 15

Mother, any distance

Poem emphasises importance of a parent when a child becomes an adult

Speaker reassures his mum that she’s still needed, though he’s moved out

She’s crucial to keeping him grounded so he’s not lost in the wider world

11 of 15

Before you were mine

Narrator looks at photos of her mum when she was young

Narrator imagines her mum when younger, staying out late dancing not being scared of being shouted at by her mum

Narrator says her mum was happier those ten years before her

She remembers glimpses of childhood and her mums fun-loving past

Mum taught her to dance

She wants her mum to be like this more often

12 of 15

Winter swans

-couple walk around a lake after arguments

They don’t talk and walk apart from one another

There’s trouble in the relationship

They stop near swans and watch them

Swans change couples mood, they continue holding hands and show they have reconciled

13 of 15

Singh song

Narrator is British Indian, talking about life working in the corner shop

Recently married and sneaking out to spend time with his new wife

She’s Indian but dressés British, she’s not ur traditionally Indian wife

He neglects the shop duties and customers complain

When shop shits the couple sit and talk, he tells her how much she means to him

14 of 15

Climbing my grandfather

Uses extended metaphor of narrator climbing his grandfather

Getting to know him more

What he’s been through

Gaina closer relationship and feel more connected

15 of 15


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